Rand Glenn Hagen
How did you first learn about Skyland Trail?
I have known about Skyland Trail for years, but when I moved back to Atlanta five years ago I started to think about getting involved. With my training in psychology, this seemed like a perfect fit. After repeatedly seeing tragedies in news, I began thinking about the critical lack of treatment options for young adults. Researching local resources, I was excited to discover that Skyland Trail was raising capital for a new young adult campus. Through the Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Family Foundation, we were able to support the campaign, and, in the process, I was able to learn much more about this exceptional organization.
What experiences have been most memorable so far?
As a new member of the Advisory Board, one of the most rewarding experiences has been participating on the Financial Aid committee. At each meeting, a client speaks about how Skyland Trail has benefitted him or her. It is wonderful to get a first-hand report on the myriad ways individuals are able to change their lives through treatment at Skyland Trail.
What makes Skyland Trail special to you?
In education, we often hear about cultivating the “whole child.” I see Skyland Trail treating the “whole person,” rather than just the mental illness. Along with doing an exceptional job implementing mental health treatment based on focused, cutting-edge research, Skyland Trail also nurtures clients through horticultural therapy, nutritional counseling and life skills training.
What do you wish people understood about mental illness?
While the stigma of mental illness is diminishing, it still exists. I wish more people understood how we need to attend to our mental health as much as we do to our physical health. I also wish people could feel comfortable seeking help before issues become severe, chronic, even life-threatening conditions. Skyland Trail is doing an excellent job raising awareness in our city, and I believe that my hopes may become realities.